Wednesday January 22 2014
The lowest point for Inter

Inter’s broken negotiations with Juventus over Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic’s swap represents a PR disaster for the Nerazzurri, says Jeremy Lim.

In the end, fan power prevailed. Fredy Guarin’s switch from Inter to Juventus in exchange for Mirko Vucinic was called off on Tuesday due to the widespread protests of Nerazzurri supporters, yet the whole affair still reads like an unmitigated public relations disaster for the side.

Afraid of being played as fools on the transfer front again, irate fans boycotted the Colombian’s departure, making their distaste of the administration who sanctioned the move loud and vocal in front of the club’s offices. It eventually took President Erick Thohir’s intervention to pull the plug on the deal that would have seen Vucinic and a token fee move the other way.

“I felt it was not possible to reach an agreement on a deal in which the opinions of the two parties differed and which did not offer a clear financial or technical benefit to the club,” the patron clarified. “I believe we must all remain united, the fans, the club and the team so that we can get back to the standing we all want for this club and that Inter deserves.”

Except, just months into his reign to restore Inter to past glories, Thohir is struggling to retain charge of the collective will at La Pinetina as confusion reigns. Coach Walter Mazzarri apparently threatened to resign following last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Genoa if not furnished with the striker he was so actively seeking in the winter market. Meanwhile, Guarin’s alleged decision to go on strike from contractual obligations will not sit well with the club faithful after notable run-ins this season.

Divided and rudderless, Inter lacked the clear framework to find a joint solution to satisfy all parties. The vital day-to-day touch of Thohir remains virtually unfeasible with the media mogul thousands of kilometres away in Indonesia. “Italian football is accustomed to having the very strong presence of a President in the club’s communications,” director and popular fans’ scapegoat Marco Fassone pointedly stated.

Perhaps the flashpoint would not have been allowed to develop unabated with Thohir’s closer involvement. Inter were a victim of their own devices from day one. Promised a wage increase and a contract extension by the old administration under Massimo Moratti, Guarin saw plans effectively scuppered with the new President’s entry.

Proposing a new salary cap instead and alluding to the squad’s stars being available to interested bidders, Thohir failed to note Guarin’s tangible frustration as the team started dropping points following a bright opening to the campaign. The 27-year-old’s angry reaction to substitutions began rubbing the San Siro crowd the wrong way. Directors Piero Ausilio and Marco Branca eventually set about finding a lucrative resolution in the January market, but apparent failure to strike a transfer to Chelsea or Tottenham saw interest from the Premier League wane, temporarily at least.

Juventus sniffed their opportunity and swooped. Ausilio duly accepted, cornered by the abrasive midfielder whose mind was bent on leaving. Then the heartfelt angst of Inter supporters brought advanced negotiations to a screeching halt. It was not as if Guarin was any particular world-beater - some quarters even considered him an enigma within the squad. But offloading a prized asset to the Nerazzurri’s arch-rivals was deemed to undermine the club’s identity and the board’s credentials too severely.

Guarin stays put for now, but the fallen Milan giants have taken an irreparable hit to their reputation over the farce. There will be a massive cleanup job at hand. Heads will roll in the aftermath even if the immediate melodrama has been put to a stop. Branca’s job is already believed to be on the line, and the unpopular transfer chief is expected to pay the price for his lack of stomach.

The mismanagement of the entire Guarin saga leaves Inter with an urgent need to reassess her transfer options now. The outfit entered 2014 optimistic about cashing in on what had become a troublesome entity, perhaps to facilitate the arrival of a new face in attack - they have yet to achieve either now. With the clock ticking down, time is running out for Thohir and his cronies to sign reinforcements and restore an ailing campaign. Their task of digging Inter out of a newly untenable position will not be an enviable one.

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Have your say...
Inter were right to pull the plug...its dumb doing business with Juve like dumb! Why make our rival stronger with a 100% good player for a risk buy which might not work should have never been suggested...the situation is being blown out of proportion...this happen all the time now Juve are using it to slam inter publicly. Fassone was also director at Juve before joining Inter yet still seems to be seeing over moves which benefit Juve rather than Inter....secret spy anyone????
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 6:36pm
I think obviously, branca and co should be fired for such bad sales over the years, letting go of some brilliant players who loved the club, like maicon and sneijder, and this swap deal with guarin/vucinic dosnt make much sense at all. But i am a big inter fan all my life and if one of our players do not want to play for inter and will happily play for juve and milan, well then off you go. we need players who love the club, feel at home, and we will reap the benefits.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 6:15pm
If this doesn't get Branca the sack then nothing will. I could rant bout him all night but whats the point, everyone knows what a waste of space he is. I wont be sad to see Guarin go, or Rannochia, so long as the money was used wisely, but what are the chances of that?! We need to get shot of these two, finish the D'Ambrosio deal and get a decent second striker/att.midfielder. By the way juventinos, bitch all you like cos we'v got bigger things to worry bout than your petty bitternes.FORZA INTER
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 5:40pm
Why is the media all over this as if this was negative for Inter? Everyone already knows Branca and Ausilio are as incompetent as they come, and Fassone....what were we thinking hiring a Juve man? Anyway, the media didn't make any issues when Conte put a stop to the Isla to Inter deal in the summer when things were almost done.This Guarin deal would've only benefited Juve.The three stooges I mentioned earlier should never have attempted this to begin with.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 5:01pm
Wow....juve fan here, thought our luck was in to get rid of a wage drain and gift us an option in midfield to help us attack Europe next year.

I have to admit though that Inter eventually did the right thing, he is your version of Vidal... half the player but tries his best for the full 90, unlike the rest of your team. Ive said it before you have to accept the demotion to a second class team and rebuild as its the only way you will survive. New beginnings...
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 4:33pm
The benefit of the calciopoli is over and inter have returned to their previous ways . This transfer saga has only reinterated how confused this team is . Inter need to find a new scape goat .
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 4:18pm
Inter's downfall started when mourinho left.
The team was left to stagnate, no new names of any note was really added, and any players that had alot of margin in improvement were left to waste away , (Ranocchia being the main player)Benitez was called in, and like expected that ended badly. All the new signings have been wasting away. The team is old, hardly any Italian players which is criminal, and players that will join now will only come for the money as no prizes will be won.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 4:10pm
2of2 - transfer market and I am upset about that.

Let us Analyze his work….Motta was sold then it cost Ranieri his job (or was it Del Piero’s goal?” , then the following year once inter was in second place they sold Sneijder, Coutinho, next is guarin, the following year it will be alvarez, the year after that it will be Handanovic, and the year after that their best player will be Mudinguay!!

Auguri Inter fans – your favorite team is just business with no passion
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 4:03pm
1of2 I must congratulate Marco Branca for his exceptional negociation skills – As a Juventino I know that the only way Inter will succeed with Branca as the GM is to start another calciopoli. I will make the Branca deal worse than it sounds…….Juve bought Teves for 9 mill + 3 mill bonus AND Llorente for NOTHING!! Inter spend what was it 13 mill with bonuses for Guarin?? good work Branca we love your work in Torino! Thohir put a stop to Branca’s annual downgrading of the team in the January
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 4:03pm
Good article. Sad what has happened to this team. I think Inter fans expected a buying spree when Thohir took over but that certainly does not look like the case.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 3:12pm
I feel Marco Branca should be the first one to go. His performance in the transfer market has been pathetic. Slowly but surely, he has killed the creativity by selling Sneijder, Coutinho and now with the intention of selling Guarin.

I hope Thohir convinces Leonardo to join as a Director and give some direction to Inter transfers.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 1:42pm
The spineless wimp pays all the bills while the idiot extreme section of the fan base runs the club. I did not expect this from a money man like Thohir.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 1:24pm
It's about time Italy and the serie a stop complaining about everything and simply work to make things one is gonna come and build stadiums for you and super talents once in italy should try to be kept in italy.Sorry for this little rant but these things simply baffle me.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:33pm
Some of which imo are simply insane such as fiorentina not selling jovetic to us(juve) because of competition or a feud a feud could simply be continued seeing as were not asking them on a date but to sel la player and as for competition the last time fiorentina was any sort of competition i was in diapers, and now there a great talent warming the bench for an english team whilst we continue to loose any good players we have.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:32pm
How can this league go places if no one want to invest in a stadium and no one wants talent to stay in italy because the second a player wants to leave god forbid you sell him to an italian team.I'm not talking about the pogbas and cavanis who no italian team can afford right now but even the lamelas and jovetics are always sent packing as far away as possible as to not reinforce any competition.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:28pm
This Guarin saga isn't the best but most clubs in the world have pulled the plug on deals last minute and it either makes or breaks a player. Guarin will probably still go at the end of January without enough time to take advanage. The real worry for me as an Inter fan is the proposed sale of Ranocchia, yet another talented Italian player leaving the side. When will Inter learn to start buying, developing and keeping Italian talent instead of wasting money on so so foreign players.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:26pm
I am kind of glad about this and saw it as somewhat of a useless trade, but as usual inter and all never cease to amaze with their ignorance and savagery, the deal was done the players had done medicals and then you pull the plug ?! Also i pose this question to stupid Italian supporters like the ones protesting this trade.Do you think that the Serie A you care so much about can ever become the once giant league if you protest any moves of good players to another italian team?
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:24pm
What were they thinking?

Vucinic isn't a reliable player and not something Inter should be looking at - would he be any better than Palacio or Milito in the first team, or Icardi from the bench - NO. Is there better options? Yes!

Gaurin is no world-class but he would be useful to Juventus and strengthen a direct rival - though not so direct any more, I am sad to say.

It isn't the only baffling transfer story though, it shocked me to hear the rumour of a potential half-share in Duncan to Toro!
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:14pm
inter fans were right to do wat they did,and now i think they should keep protesting until the 3 directors(branca,ausilio,fassone) r fired,we need people who would do everyth to ensure inter stays at the top,no player was recruited and d'ambrosio's deal havent been concluded yet from the start of the mercato,inter really needs a new staff urgently!!
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 12:05pm
Fire branca , ausilo , and fassone .
Bring back orialli and Leonardo and may inter rise again to their old place which is above Jube .
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 11:44am
Even as a juventino, I thought this deal was super crazy. We had secco a few years ago who did many crazy things, but this deal was way beyond his level of idiocracy. All hail king branca..
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 11:11am
Who cares about PR when there is a daylight robbery going on!? We have to stop Branca from downgrading the club year after year!

Just like political protests and even revolutions across the globe, this was a great day in modern history for marking the power of social media in football.

God bless Curva Nord and thank you Erick Thohir for this wise decision. Now take the next one and replace the clowns who came up with this idea! ASAP, so the new staff can prepare the summer transfers properly.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 11:10am
Is it that big of a mess. Juve didnt get their way and that will be seen as a victory by the Inter fans. Lets keep this in perspective Guerin is not exactly Messi.
on the 22nd January, 2014 at 10:12am

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